All possible feeding sites and entry points must be identified and eliminated. Human food sources should be kept in metal or glass containers with tight lids. Trashcans should be similarly resilient and sealed. Counter tops, sinks and kitchen floors must be kept clean and all possible entry points should be sealed. Cracks, holes and crevices should be sealed with steel or concrete. The open areas around pipes, gas lines and dryer vents should also be sealed. Holes as small as pencil erasers may allow entry and should not be disregarded.
Home extermination techniques vary from traps to repellents and poisons. Some traps are more humane than others. Snap traps may be dangerous for humans and house pets. They also tend to leave unsightly messes. Glue traps are similarly disturbing and mice may be capable of escaping from them. Live traps require homeowners to dispose of captured rodents. Electronic traps are a preferred method of small-scale elimination, but no traps are efficient in handling full-blown infestations.
Poisons may be more effective than traps. However, they are also toxic to humans. Children and house pets are often made extremely ill by ingestion of poison. Furthermore, affected rodents often retreat to die in areas that are inaccessible by humans. The resulting smells are unpleasant and difficult to address.
Mice infestations are troublesome and dangerous to humans. Mice feed on human food sources and destroy cartons, paper, boxes and plastic in order to construct their nests. The urine, saliva and feces of some mice may contain viruses and bacteria, such as salmonella and Hantavirus. It is therefore necessary to exterminate any mouse infestation.
Exclusion is the most successful and permanent form of house mouse control. “Build them out” by eliminating all gaps and openings larger than ¼ inch, through which mice will enter a structure. Steel wool makes a good temporary plug. Seal cracks in building foundations and around openings for water pipes, vents, and utility cables with metal or concrete. Doors, windows, and screens should fit tightly. It may be necessary to cover the edges of doors and windows with metal to prevent gnawing. Plastic screening, rubber or vinyl, insulating foam, wood, and other gnawable materials are unsuitable for plugging holes used by mice.
The safest and most efficient mouse extermination methods are those done by trained pest control professionals. If you suspect you have a mice infestation, contact a wild animal control expert to arrange for an inspection and consultation.